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Loading … New standards for non-geostationary satellites - ITREALMS

ITREALMS :  Deployment of Non-Geostationary Satellite Orbit (NGSO) in specific bands and services received boost at the 38th ITU World R...

Friday, November 22, 2019

Loading … New standards for non-geostationary satellites - ITREALMS

Deployment of Non-Geostationary Satellite Orbit (NGSO) in specific bands and services received boost at the 38th ITU World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19) with its adoption based on regulatory approach, reports ITREALMS.

The agreement reached at WRC-19 establishes regulatory procedures for the deployment of non-geostationary satellites, including mega-constellations in low-Earth orbit (LEO). The milestone-based approach will provide a regulatory mechanism to help ensure that ITU’s Master International Frequency Register reasonably reflects the actual deployment of such NGSO satellite systems in certain frequency bands and services. In defining more flexible timelines and objective criteria, this approach also seeks to strike a balance between the prevention of spectrum warehousing, the proper functioning of coordination mechanisms, and the operational requirements related to the deployment of NGSO systems.

While satellites in geostationary orbit are aligned with the earth’s rotation at an elevation of 36,000 km, NGSO satellites move across the sky during their orbit around the earth, in medium Earth-orbit 8,000 – 20,000 km above the earth and in low-Earth orbit at elevations between 400 and 2000 km.

With the availability of launch vehicles capable of supporting multiple satellite launches, mega-constellations consisting of hundreds or thousands of spacecraft are becoming a popular solution for global telecommunications, including to remote rural areas and isolated communities, providing low-latency broadband coverage (owing to their proximity to the earth’s surface), remote sensing, space and upper atmosphere research, meteorology, astronomy, technology demonstration and education.

Chuks Egbuna/DoP

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The amorphous hate speech bill - ITREALMS

The issue of the hate speech bill which was sponsored by a former Senate Spokesperson, who now is the Deputy Senate Whip, Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger State) has been trailed with a lot of comments. The bill passed first reading at the floor of the red chamber on Tuesday, titled: "National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speech Bill 2019".

Before now, Abdullahi had sponsored a similar bill in the 8th Senate, but couldn't survive second reading as a result of criticisms from different corners.

Taking a look at the bill, offenders are either liable to 10 years jail term, payment of #10 million fine or death by hanging. This kind of bill must not see the light of the day, a bill fashioned to deprive Nigerians of their right, suppresses freedom of speech.

At a time like this, emphasis should be on the democratic growth of the nation, than a bill to pull it down. Can this bill be justified? What constitutes hate speech in a democratic setting?

Section 39 (3) of the Constitution had made it clear that no law could abrogate the rights of Nigerians to exercise their right to freedom of speech. I am waiting to see if the 9th Senate will pass a bill detrimental to the people. A friend once told me that the Senate does not fully understand its role as one of the three arms of government. We don't want an unresistant Senate, as it is a danger to the growth of the nation.

The bill according to the sponsor, is aimed at ensuring the elimination of all forms of hate speeches; promoting the elimination of all forms of hate speeches against persons or ethnic group; as well as advising the Federal Government on the matter.

I can see dictatorship coming. A look at the multifaceted issues confronting the nation, is it the hate speech bill that should be on the front-burner? This is an ill-formed, shapeless and formless bill.

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantees freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. Nigeria is a signatory to this international instrument.

They said hate speech is a specie of terrorism. This bill has brought stimulated discourse in many quarters. For me, the bill is already taken care of under slander, libel, treasonable felony and other crimes. The proposed bill is in conflict with the Constitution, existing laws like Criminal Act and Penal Codes and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Act.

What the nation needs at this period are laws that will bring about peace, justice and good governance; laws that will holistically address the three monsters of insecurity, corruption and impunity currently holding the nation down. Nigerians for once should show their displeasure by resisting blatant oppression.

Anytime I remember this bill that is uncalled for, I remember Pakistan and Somalia. Nigeria as a nation should do things rightly, or is this a flawed democracy?

Each passing day, I see those called leaders full of disruptive tendencies at the detriment of the citizens. We can't achieve greatness, if the rights of the people are muzzled because when you subdue freedom of speech, then sycophants are seen all over the place which is not what the nation wants. A sycophant is myopic and insular in the appreciation of his actions. It is important to mention here that saying things the way they are is a sign for openness towards the growth of the nation and such helps in building a just society.

Hate speech has worn a fabric (Ankara), but is this the Nigeria of our dream?

For those putting on the apron of hate speech (crusaders), they should know how to differentiate between hate speech and a robust expression of one's views.

If I describe the Nigerian Police as inefficient, is that hate speech?

The time to act is now. May God save us from us!

*Chris Uruakpa writes from Lagos

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FG urges states to protect critical national infrastructure, allow facility maintenance - ITREALMS

The Federal Government (FG) has urged states nationwide to protect Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) which includes telecom infrastructure to pave way for unhindered maintenance of facilities in their domain, reports ITREALMS.

Reacting to what it tagged as very serious, unpatriotic and corrupt activities of some criminal elements within the public service, who have continued to engage in acts capable of undermining the national security, FG through the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) frowned at harassment and vandalisation of telecom infrastructure at the states.

“The office of the Honourable Minister has received several complaints from Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) about the unfortunate incidences of forced closures or outright destruction of Telecommunications Infrastructure in some parts of the country. Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) and other telecommunications facilities are reportedly being vandalised and MNOs, are hindered from delivering the requisite services to the consumer by state owned Agencies in some parts of the country,” he said.

ALSO READ: ALTON’s eight-point demands to Pantami - ITREALMS

Also in a press statement by his spokesperson, Uwa Sulaiman available to ITREALMS, the Minister noted that in a recent correspondence the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) confirmed and emphasised that, telecommunications infrastructure are a Critical National Infrastructure (CNI), and are central to national security.

In addition, he noted that these actions constitute a violation of relevant laws of Nigeria and are a threat to national economic development as most businesses nowadays, depend on services provided by telecommunications operators.

In line with the provisions of the Cybercrime Act of 2015, Telecommunications Infrastructure are designated CNI and therefore, any acts of vandalism or deliberate obstruction of service delivery is deemed unlawful and punishable by law.

Chuks Egbuna/DoP

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ALTON: Advocate or Antagonist? - ITREALMS

Technology enthusiasts are big on the power of new and emerging technologies to disrupt existing realities. Consider how personal computers, smartphones, and the internet caused disruptions. Today, we are talking about autonomous vehicles, Three Dimension (3D) printing, robotics, artificial intelligence, wearables, and the likes. Oh, the possibilities!

History has shown, however, that people can also be the cause of disruptions; eccentric, unconventional, uncommon, nonconformist and courageous people.

While the jury is still out on whether, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami fits the bill, his actions so far, nonetheless, point to a deep empathy for the long-suffering Nigerian telecoms consumer.

On resumption of office, he quickly kicked against and later formally kicked out the plan by telecoms service providers to introduce new charges for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD). The USSD is used by customers for financial transactions.

The Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) tackled the minister. ALTON’s Administrative Secretary, Gbolahan Awonuga, slammed the minister for interference,

noting that the N4.00 charge was determined by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the country’s telecom regulator alongside stakeholders under an Industry Working Group (IWG), before the minister’s appointment.

According to Gbolahan, “The issue is not policy, but regulation which has a legal document backing it. We are confusing regulation with policy. There was a determination on this USSD, even before the appointment of the Minister,” he stated.

Next, the minister directed the NCC to work at reducing data cost and curb incidences of illegal deductions from customers' account within five working days. This is something that telecoms consumers have complained about for eons.

ALTON’s Chairman, Gbenga Adebayo insisted that the service providers were not making illegal deductions, contrary to complaints being made by subscribers. He explained that the smartphones being used by the subscribers were to blame for such deductions.

In his words: “If you are using a smartphone naturally you have all these updates and downloads that are unsolicited but you get it whether you want it or not but that is what keeps your phone up-to-date. Most of those deductions are traceable to that.”

On the proposed slash of the cost of data, ALTON said, “Price is not a policy issue; price is determined by market forces. Price cannot be set by policy pronouncement.”

Dr. Pantami latest directive is an order to service providers to stop further exploitation of subscribers through the automatic activation of the voicemail service on their platforms.

By law, the voicemail service should be optional on operators’ platforms. But in practice, it has historically been offered as a mandatory call feature by MNOs resulting in loss of millions of call units by subscribers to the advantage of operators.

According to the statement credited to Dr. Pantami, “The Voicemail service should be accessed at the discretion of the subscriber and not by default.”

Expectedly, ALTON again quickly responded to the minister’s directive insisting that the minister’s intervention amounted to unnecessary interference.

ALTON said that voicemail not a major “policy issue” within the meaning of section 23 &24 of the Nigeria Communication Act (NCA) which empowers the Minister to formulate “general policy for the communications sector…” after consultations organised by the NCC.

ALTON appears poised to tackle the Minister at every point. It has certainly given Dr. Pantami a frosty welcome.

The association has also proven feisty. It appears poised for a fight at every turn. It is unwilling to budge. It would not relent. In its books, the operators can do no wrong.

It is not surprising, ALTON is anxious to defend its members, promote their interest and advocate their position. ALTON is doing its job, as an advocate for its members.

Sadly, only one side has an advocate, the service providers. Who is talking on behalf of the customers?

No one!

An association of telecoms customers and subscribers would if it existed. The NCC should if it were doing its job. Currently, however, no one is speaking for the telecoms consumer. The minister is thus automatically a hero to the much-deprived Nigerian telecoms consumers and customers.

Some say the Minister may have political ambition and he is seeking public appeal. Well, he is getting it. He deserves it.

This is because the issues he has raised are germane, valid and real pain points for the telecoms consumer, over the years.

From the customers’ point of view, the planned introduction of USSD charges was uncalled for. The Minister knocking it down was simply fulfilling the aspiration of the customers.

Illegal deductions and high cost of data are a perennial and vexed issue in the sector. The operators conveniently ignored talks about it.

Plus, Nigerians generally believe that data is overpriced. The operators see no need to justify what they charge. It's a take or leave it sort of transaction, a supplier's market. This is why ALTON’s talk about market forces is untenable.

Nigerians have complained of data disappearing fast for years. What has the NCC done about it? The operators and the association constantly offer excuses.

Now that someone is speaking for the customers, resistance is expected. So, ALTON's aggressive posturing is understandable. It has to protect its source of revenue. The telecoms operators are content to hide behind the association. They won't want to be seen openly or directly contending against the Minister.

While it is in order to commend the Minister for his willingness to address these vexed issues, it is equally prudent to call for caution. There are rules to this game. And since we are not in a “juggle” everything can't be achieved by administrative fiat.

The Minister must meet with the ministry’s legal team. He should get them to look at the law and counsel him where he can intervene directly and where he would need the regulator to work out an agreeable solution.

He should meet with the commission, to share his vision for the ministry. Together, they can then work out what is possible within the ambit of the law. Immediately afterward, the Minister can meet with the telecoms operators and then the general public.

The Minister must understand that the operators do have genuine grievances. There are issues around right of way, multiple taxation, and the regular wanton vandalisation of telecom infrastructure across the country.

He must support efforts to declared telecom infrastructure as a critical national infrastructure. He should be willing to work assiduously to help improve ease of doing business for telecos.

ALTON, on its part, however, can make its point and indeed make its position known without being antagonistic and unduly confrontational. ALTON should be an advocate and not an antagonist.

The Ministry was appointed to work for all Nigerians, the customers and the business people alike.

The purpose of disruption is to dislocate the status quo, realign forces and enforce change.

If the Minister's disruption brings about change then it is a win for the Nigerian telecoms consumer, in particular, and the industry at large.
*Elvis Eromosele, a Corporate Communication professional and public affairs analyst lives in Lagos.

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Thursday, November 21, 2019

Africa: Vodacom inspires discourse on future of mobile money - ITREALMS

Some key representatives from over eight countries on the continent of African gathered at a workshop organized by Vodacom to look into trends and developments shaping the mobile money industry in Africa, reports ITREALMS.

Leading telecom company Vodacom also released its Future-Proofing Mobile Financial Services report at the workshop. The report, the first of Vodacom’s Public Policy Series, demonstrates how mobile money is driving economic growth and empowering lives through financial inclusion.

Managing Executive, Legal and regulatory from Vodacom Group, Judith Obholzer, said that Sub- Saharan Africa including Tanzania has witnessed rapid growth in mobile money operations and innovations enabling broad based participation and access to financial services. 

ITREALMS recalls that Sub-Saharan Africa is home to the 10 economies worldwide where more adults now have mobile money accounts than at a financial institution. 

Described as a game changer in this region, Mobile Money continues to drive economic growth and social benefit by providing access to financial services to the millions of people who have a mobile phone, but do not have or have only limited access to a bank account.

“Our aim is to provide a platform for leading experts to express their views on trends and developments shaping the industry. The industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace with policy makers and regulators playing a central role in facilitating and enabling environment for financial inclusion,” said Ms. Obholzer.

Representative of the Bank of Tanzania who is Assistant Manager–Oversight and Policy at the National Payment systems Department , Mr. Albert Cesari underscored the important impact Mobile Financial Services have made on the economy and the important role of the workshop in ensuring sustainability of the mobile financial service industry.

“The government is committed to ensure that mobile financial providers continue to be effective players in the future, and that they are able to provide the innovations and investments neccessary in the technical and business dynamics in the financial payment market.” Cesari explained.

M-Pesa has been Africa's most successful mobile money service. Research illustrates that mobile money has significantly contributed to social empowerment, economic growth and poverty reduction. It provides people with a safe, secure and affordable way to send and receive money, top-up airtime, make bill payments, receive salaries and get a short-term loan.

Speaking during the launch of the new research on mobile money , Hisham Hendi, Managing Director, Vodacom Tanzania said “Mobile money – supported by extensive mobile reach – has proven to be a platform for economic opportunity, transforming the financial services landscape, in particular on the African continent.” Mr. Hendi added “I am glad that this report brings together contributions by leading experts that speak to these three broader themes. They are diverse in their views and ambitions, critical and inspiring.”

The event brought together representatives from mobile network operators and a cross section of sectors including Telecommunication, financial service providers, banking, CSO and regulators who addressed various topics including: Future-proofing Mobile Financial Services, Enabling Interoperability Frameworks – Payment Systems, Regional Integration and Cross-Border Opportunities, How to solve the legal identity problem, Best Practice Sharing and The Cloud Opportunity – Getting the Conditions Right.

Chuks Egbuna/Editor

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Fayemi says fundamental restructuring inevitable - ITREALMS

The Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has urged Nigerians to always hold their leaders accountable in order to strengthen the nation's democracy, reports ITREALMS.

Dr. Fayemi pointed out that democracy goes beyond the right to choose leaders through the ballot, but stimulating civic engagement to better the lives of the citizens.

The Governor stated this on Wednesday while delivering a paper at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Washington DC, United States. He also made a case for a fundamental restructuring of the country as a way of correcting the inherent flaws in the polity.

Governor Fayemi's lecture was entitled: "Twenty Years of Democracy in Nigeria: Successes and Challenges", at the event with the theme : Deepening Democratic Governance in Nigeria.

In attendance were Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom; former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Martin LutherAgwai; former INEC Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega and a member of House of Representatives, Hon Aishatu Dukku; as well as officials of the US Department of State, scholars and members of the civil society.

While noting that Nigeria has made significant progress as a democracy since returning to civil rule in 1999, Dr. Fayemi opined that "democracy is a journey and not a destination" hence the need to address imbalances in the Nigerian federation.

He maintained that a fundamental restructuring of the Nigerian federation is an "unavoidable step for the creation and sustenance of a participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, responsive and equitable national governance based on respect for the rule of law.

Fayemi, who is also the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors' Forum (NGF) explained that his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) included restructuring in its 2015 and 2019 manifestoes and has been working towards it in a bid to use its platform to address the perceived structural imbalance.

The restructuring, Dr. Fayemi said, must address issues like writing the people's constitution and the question of constitutional governance, the fundamental precepts of authorising principles of national togetherness, citizenship and national question, the political economy of federalism including the allocation of public revenue, security sector governance, human rights, social justice, electoral system, type of government-parliamentary or presidential, among others.

While urging the Nigerian populace to show more interest in governance and hold their leaders accountable, Dr. Fayemi stated that " an indifference might be dangerous for democracy" as Democratic institutions cannot be strengthened in a climate of of apathy and "clinical disengagement."

Dr. Fayemi said: "The current phase of the struggle is therefore not just about maintaining the sanctity of the ballot but also holding those elected accountable and stimulating civic engagement in the public realm, in a way that democratizes ownership and improve the quality of life of our people.

"We must banish the idea that governance is something performed by a team of gifted performers or strong men, while the rest of the citizens are spectators or complainers." he said.

“What we established in 1999 is the right to choose our leaders via the ballot. But democracy is more than just the ability to choose one’s leaders. As Larry Diamond argues in his latest book, ’Ill Winds’, it means ‘strong protection for basic liberties, such as freedom of the press, association, assembly, belief and religion; the fair treatment of racial and cultural minorities; a robust rule of law; in which all citizens are equal under the law and no one is above it; an independent judiciary to uphold that principle, trust-worthy law enforcement institutions to check the potential for high government officials to behave corruptly; and a lively civil society made up of independent associations, social movements…" Fayemi said.

“But there is a fundamental truth to the saying that politics is too important to be left to politicians. It is about redefining politics itself, transforming it from a rarefied craft reserved for a select few professional politicians, to the protocols and relationships that undergird personal, communal and social wellbeing. In other words, politics is the management of human relationships, interactions and aspirations in the service of the common good. It is not something mysterious that only ‘politicians’ do; it is how citizens operate. Politics is a civic responsibility. It is how we engage with each other. The pursuit of good governance means that politicians can no longer be left to their own devices.

“Seen in this light, the mutual estrangement of government and civil society will end. The civil society will continue to express the communal instinct to regulate power but the chronic antagonism that poisons relations between the state and civil society will be replaced by mutual respect and positive tension. Civic engagement means that the state can access a much larger pool of wisdom and knowledge made available by a new rapport with civil society. In return, participatory governance will become much more practicable across all levels of governance.

“Before we arrive at that new rapport between the state and society, we must work hard to address a lingering threat, a carry over from the days of military rule. The biggest challenge facing us as democrats is to rebuild trust between the state and society. The relationship between both spheres is often needlessly adversarial owing to a lack of trust. Simply put, Nigerians do not trust their governments and this has made it difficult, indeed in some cases, impossible, to build mass citizen movements for a fuller democratic engagement.”

According to Dr Fayemi “residual distrust of power” feeds apathy, disinterest and cynical disengagement.

“The people distrust their governments but not enough to actively check them and avert excesses of power. Rather, they distrust them so much that they desert the state and many simply do not care enough about the public realm. This indifference is dangerous for democracy. Democratic institutions cannot survive or be strengthened in a climate of antipathy nor can politicians long retain their legitimacy under such circumstances. If the price of a free society is eternal vigilance, then apathy will carry a severe penalty for our republic,” he said.

The Ekiti State Governor said looking back on two decades of democratisation in Nigeria, “it is instructive to note that only civic movements mobilised in the context of larger patriotic interests can overwhelm the forces of impunity. It is the discipline of civic engagement that will keep at bay those who wish to turn back the hands of the clock and return us to the dark days of totalitarian rule. The struggle we are engaged in is dedicated to making this democracy truly a government of the people, for the people and by the people, and by so doing honour the memory of all those who paid the supreme sacrifice pursuant of our common aspirations for the good society”.

Ambassador Johnnie Carson of the USIP and Gen Agwai led the discussion session after the Governor's presentation

Monitored by Ayo Midele/Editor

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Pix: Guest Speaker/Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi; delivering a lecture: “Twenty Years of Democratisation; Successes and Challenges “ at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington D.C., USA…on Wednesday.

WRC’19 adopts new regulatory procedures for radio communication - ITREALMS

The 38th ITU World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19) ended in Geneva with adoption of a new innovative milestone-based regulatory approach for the deployment of non-geostationary satellite orbit (NGSO) satellites in specific bands and services for radio communication, reports ITREALMS.

The agreement, 
ITREALMS gathered was reached at WRC-19 thereby establishing regulatory procedures for the deployment of non-geostationary satellites, including mega-constellations in low-Earth orbit (LEO). 

ITREALMS reports that the milestone-based approach will provide a regulatory mechanism to help ensure that ITU’s Master International Frequency Register reasonably reflects the actual deployment of such NGSO satellite systems in certain frequency bands and services.

In defining more flexible timelines and objective criteria, this approach also seeks to strike a balance between the prevention of spectrum warehousing, the proper functioning of coordination mechanisms, and the operational requirements related to the deployment of NGSO systems.

While satellites in geostationary orbit are aligned with the earth’s rotation at an elevation of 36,000 km, NGSO satellites move across the sky during their orbit around the earth, in medium Earth-orbit 8,000 – 20,000 km above the earth and in low-Earth orbit at elevations between 400 and 2000 km.

With the availability of launch vehicles capable of supporting multiple satellite launches, mega-constellations consisting of hundreds or thousands of spacecraft are becoming a popular solution for global telecommunications, including to remote rural areas and isolated communities, providing low-latency broadband coverage (owing to their proximity to the earth’s surface), remote sensing, space and upper atmosphere research, meteorology, astronomy, technology demonstration and education.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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ITU reckons with 70 years of television standards - ITREALMS

The United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has reckoned with 70 years of television standards, as the world marks World Television Day (WTD) reports ITREALMS.

World Television Day is marked globally on 21 November, recognizes the medium as a major source of news, information, education and entertainment. As television broadcasting increases its footprint globally, streaming onto multiple portable devices, TV has become an integral part of life, accounting for 80 per cent of all consumer Internet traffic.

ITU, since it first released technical standards for television 70 years ago in 1949, has developed the globally harmonized standards that have progressively enhanced television viewing experience in terms of both visual and audio quality. From early standards for colour TV to developing parameters for 4:3 and widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio television, ITU has championed the switch to digital TV broadcasting and High Definition Television (HDTV), enabling more services, better picture quality and improved coverage owing to an increase in transmitted bandwidth capacity. Building further on the superior colour fidelity of ITU's Ultra-High Definition Television (UHDTV), ITU introduced High Dynamic Range Television (HDR-TV) bringing increased realism to images.

As 5G services complying with ITU’s IMT-2020 spectrum allocations and standards (currently being addressed by the ITU World Radiocommunication Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt) are progressively rolled out over the coming years, the convergence of traditional broadcasting and Internet services could lead to the further merging of media content, data, and applications using broadband networks delivered over a combination of terrestrial, satellite and Internet platforms.

ITU further said that these “Global Platforms” may one day facilitate delivery of content to end-users on a wide range of devices and receiving platforms, using both broadcasting and non-broadcasting technologies.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Data Science Nigeria targets 1m AI experts in 10 years, unveils book for pupils - ITREALMS

Leader in upskilling revolution in Artificial Intelligence (AI) skills, Data Science Nigeria (DSN) has revealed its target in the next 10 years will be to train some 1 million AI experts, reports ITREALMS.

This is coming as DSN unveiled its first AI book for pupils, so as to enable them become more productive.

DSN, a non-governmental organisation is bent on democratising knowledge in AI and related fields for socio-economic development in Nigeria.

Speaking at the AI Summit in Lagos, the Convener, Data Science Nigeria, Dr. Olubayo Adekanmbi, said that he desires that by 2025 every Nigerian child under 10-years understands the concept of AI, it’s applications and builds the right skills set so that Nigeria becomes the talent pool for the rest of the world.

He reiterated the vision to raise 1 million high-qualified, and world-class AI talents in the next 10 years.

DSN, he said, believes that building a local data science/big data/AI ecosystem will position Nigeria to become the outsourcing hub for international Data Science/Advanced Analytics/Big Data projects with opportunity to access 10 per cent share of the global data science outsourcing projects, worth USD 3.3 billion in revenue by 2020.

In a keynote presentation titled, ‘Artificial Intelligence for Development’, Distinguished Professor (Emeritus) and Director of Intelligent Systems Research at Oregon State University, Prof. Thomas Dietterich, described AI as catalyst for economic advancement.

He said that AI presents opportunities for economic transformation in unique.

According to him, although the developing economies still lag behind in some areas with regards AI adoption and applications, however, organisations like Data Science Nigeria, have shown clear roadmap capable of putting the country on the right footings and build the national competitiveness given the right skills set.

He emphasised that developing AI enabled weather management solutions, for instance, will assist the continent address some challenges faced by farmers thereby leading to improved food production/sufficiency.

Prof. Dietterich, said that with the growing community of AI enthusiasts and learners, Nigeria and indeed Africa will witness a major boost in skills needed for research and development focused on bringing applied Artificial Intelligence solutions to existing community problems.

He, however, emphasised that to make progress in this direction requires making sense out of the big data and applying the results to track diseases, and make the nation safer, better, and well-structured for collective well-being

Prof. Dietterich, who is one of the founders of the field of Machine learning, applauded Data Science Nigeria for taking the lead to connect experts with AI developers/enthusiasts to develop solutions that can transform the society.

While applauding the First AI Book for Primary and Junior Secondary School students in Nigeria, the keynote speaker further urged experts and stakeholders to rave-up DSN’s mission to deliver positive impact to the society using Artificial Intelligence.

Further, Dr. Adekanmbi, said that as a nation of 200 million people, with median age at 18 years, it is important to prepare the young people for the future by exposing them to the right skill set; “especially when we know that most of the jobs we know today will go into extinction in the next 5-10 years.

“So, the question is: what becomes of our country with so much young people who are lacking in the right skills for the ‘future jobs’. That informed the whole idea of Data Science Nigeria Artificial Intelligence Skill Building. It has become a mandate. We have taken up the responsibility to say: it is not going to be the son of a rich-man or an average man; wherever they are in this country, have access to the same knowledge that students in San Francisco, Paris and London have access to., by creating a book that will be distributed free. We are not going through the traditional model ‘I buy for my child’ rather ‘you buy for a community or the whole school’. The approach is: make knowledge in a simplified manner.

The second thing is to build a system that will allow that knowledge to be passed. That is why we are working various State Governments. We are going to run a lot of ‘train-the-trainer- program where we will equip the teachers to also know, because you can only give what you have. We are going to train the teachers in AI. Afterwards, we are going to give them a few copies of the Book. It is going to be on batches till we reach every part of the country.

He pointed out how government can be part of the process to raise one million inspired young people to change the country’s narrative and make Nigeria the AI destination in future, he called for integrating AI as part of the national curriculum.

This, he said, would generate more attention by the students towards learning the discipline. “In addition to that, government can also support the effective production of this book which we are giving out free. DSN is a non-profit, everything we are trying to do is to democratise AI; from Lagos to Maiduguri to Uyo, to Sokoto, let every Nigerian child be exposed to the possibilities of AI. Let them build the right skills and let’s get our nation ready for the opportunities that AI presents; shaping opportunity creation, innovation, invention research, and transformational possibilities.

The Summit also exposed participants to DSN’s practitioner-led model where experienced and hands-on data scientists in Nigeria and in the Diaspora train and mentor young Nigerians through face-to-face, virtual coaching classes, project-based support and holiday boot camps funded by individuals and corporate organizations such as Softcom, Terragon Group, Microsoft, MainOne, TechCabal, BlueChip Technologies, amongst others.
Chuks Egbuna/Editor

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Pix 1: L-r: CEO Retina-AI, USA, Dr Stephen Odaibo; Toyin Adekanmbi (Mrs); Convener, Data Science Nigeria, Dr. Olubayo Adekanmbi; Director/HOD, Curriculum Services Dept., Ministry of Education, Lagos State, Adegbamigbe Esther Ibukun (Mrs) and Emeritus professor of Computer Science at Oregon State University, Prof Thomas Dietterich, at the Unveiling a Book – Introduction to Artificial Intelligence and Hands-on Python for Grades 5-9 as part of activities for Data Science Nigeria AI/Big Data Conference 2019 held at Oriental Hotel, Lagos on Tuesday, November 19, 2019.

Pix 2: L-r: CEO Retina-AI, USA, Dr Stephen Odaibo; Convener, Data Science Nigeria, Dr. Olubayo Adekanmbi; Toyin Adekanmbi (Mrs); a student-participant; Director/HOD, Curriculum Services Dept., Ministry of Education, Lagos State, Adegbamigbe Esther Ibukun (Mrs) and Emeritus professor of Computer Science at Oregon State University, Prof Thomas Dietterich, at the Unveiling a Book – Introduction to Artificial Intelligence and Hands-on Python for Grades 5-9 as part of activities for Data Science Nigeria AI/Big Data Conference 2019 held at Oriental Hotel, Lagos on Tuesday, November 19, 2019.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Trauma confab: Lagos to increase emergency ambulances - ITREALMS

The Lagos State Government has advanced plans to increase the number of mobile emergency ambulances on its fleet from 15 to 23, reports ITREALMS.

The state commissioner for health, Prof. Akin Abayomi disclosed this in his address to the first-ever Trauma conference in Lagos on Tuesday by the Trauma Care International Foundation (TCIF).

Abayomi who lamented lack of maintenance of medical facilities said this increase in emergency ambulance fleet has become necessary because of increase in number of residents and need to close the gap of accessibility of this service by Lagosians.

This, he also noted will help in attending to those in need especially during accidents to have access to professional paramedics.

The increase in number of emergency ambulances would make it possible for general hospitals at all the local government areas in the state to reach this service at a very close short time, moreso during emergencies which could be traumatic for the patients.

He also decried lack of attention to professional flights, and called for enabling environment to enable medical and related practitioners thrive and offer their services adequately.

“Our health care providers don't feel valued,” he lamented, stressing the need to make efforts at neutralising every factor fueling this kind of feeling among health professionals in the country so as to retain them.

Welcoming participants, the chairperson TCIF, Dr. Deola Philips said the objective of the Trauma conference 2019 is to provide a platform for debate and stimulation of inter-disciplinary discussions in the fields of trauma care and emergency response management in the country.

Chairman of the occasion, and former Health Minister, Prince Juli Adelusi-Adeluyi commended the organisers, saying that at every appropriate time appropriate people take adequate steps to help build the society they live in.

Adelusi-Adeluyi also advised the foundation to always exhibit positive attitude and leverage on their already established good will as an international NGO that has made World Records with its activities.

He further called for grassroots driven education to increase awareness of the populace to assistance victims of Trauma rather than merely taking photos.

Chuks Egbuna/Editor

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Hate Speech: Ekwunife rejects bill, vows to resist replication of CyberCrime Act - ITREALMS

The Senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Iyom Uche Ekwunife has assured Nigerians and her people that she will not support any attempt to replicate any provision of the Cyber Crimes Act of 2015, reports ITREALMS.

Ekwunife in a letter to her people of Anambra Central Senatorial District following avalanche of telephone calls and messages on the issue of Hate Speech Bill recently read for the first time in the red chambers, said she will not be a party to attempts to duplicate Cyber Crimes Act, describing that as unnecessary.

“I am aware that the provisions of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act 2015, and other statutes already have provisions and penalties for hate speech and consequently, any other bill which seeks to regulate these same areas would be duplicitous and unnecessary,” she said in a copy of the letter sighted by ITREALMS.

According to her, until the bill is mentioned for second reading with accompanying explanation from the sponsors, no debate can ensue on the floor of the national assembly.

She assured that alongside her colleagues at the Senate, they would never allow any bill which does not fully reflect the true wishes and interests of Nigerians to pass second reading.

Further, she noted that Section 39 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, guarantees to all Nigerian citizens, a fundamental right to Freedom of Expression.

“Therefore, to the extent that this Hate Speech Bill seeks to abridge the fundamental rights of Nigerians, guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution, I will vehemently oppose it as being inconsistent with the Supremacy Clause of the 1999 Constitution as enshrined in Section 1 subsection (3) of our constitution,” Ekwunife said.

She urges her senatorial district to remain patient and law abiding, “As I assure you that this Hate Speech Bill, to the extent of it's infringement to the fundamental rights of Nigerian Citizens, will be rejected by me totally.”

Chuks Egbuna/Editor

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Open Contracting: PPDC, MRA urge FG on full implementation -ITREALMS

The Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC) and Media Rights Agenda (MRA) have called on the Federal Government to ensure full implementation of Open Contracting in Nigeria, reports ITREALMS.

They also pointed out on such issues like procurement records and information are proactively disclosed by public institutions in line with the Open Contracting data standards and the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, 2011.

In a press briefing in Abuja, the organisations observed that although Nigeria joined the Open Government Partnership (OGP) as the 70th member in 2016 and had the full implementation of open contracting as one of its commitments in its first National Action Plan (NAP), which lapsed in June this year, accessing basic contract information and records remained a challenge for members of the public, including civil society representatives and media practitioners.

According to Ms Gift Maxwell, PPDC’s Programme Manager, “PPDC and MRA have been implementing the Nigerian component of a project on ‘Strengthening Disclosure and Citizen Participation to Improve Value for Money in Public Contracting in Africa’, managed by the Africa Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC) in Kampala, Uganda, with support from the Hewlett Foundation, and we are worried at the level of impunity by public officials who continue to prevent members of the public from accessing procurement and contracting information.”

MRA’s FOI programme Manager, Mr Ridwan Sulaimon further argued that:“Although, as part of its obligation under the Public Procurement Act, the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) developed the Nigeria Open Contracting Portal (NOCOPO) which is expected to feed the public with procurement information from the public institutions, showing records of contracts from planning to implementation stages, however, the Federal Government must as a matter of urgency ensure that the institutions proactively publish their procurement and contracting data on the platform to ensure that it justifies its essence.”

Ms Maxwell said PPDC and MRA have worked tirelessly to realise the goal of institutionalising Open Contracting in Nigeria.

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ReapVille School hosts special assembly, elects PTA Exco - ITREALMS

ReapVille School, Oshodi-Lagos, has elected the pioneer Executive Committee for its Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) with Mrs. Nkem Nweke emerging as the chairperson, reports ITREALMS.

They were elected at a recent PTA meeting following a special assembly session held in the school premises by the pupils.

Mrs Nweke would be joined in the PTA Exco by Mr Kazeem Akinpelu - Vice Chairperson, Mrs Udeme Akpan Umoh - Financial Secretary, Mrs Udeme Akpan Umoh - Financial Secretary, Mrs Ngozi Nzeh M – Treasurer, and Mrs Chinyere Fred-Alabi as the Public Relations Officer (PRO).

In her acceptance speech, Mrs. Nweke promised on behalf of her team to do their best towards contributing to the upliftment of ReapVille schools, especially the well-being of the pupils and teachers welfare.

She expressed thanks to other parents and teachers in the trust they have on the new PTA Executive Committee.

The Director and proprietress, ReapVille Schools, Mrs. Philomena Ugwuoke commended the PTA committee for accepting to serve in this capacity, hoping that ReapVille schools intend to benefit from their anticipated contributions in keeping to the standards of the school.

Reapville School, she said, is committed to provide pupils with an education that is unique based on their collaborative learning, extra curricula activity and supportive learning environment which foster independence, strength of character and a lifelong pursuit of knowledge.

And based on their culture, Reapville School, Ugwuoke pointed out is dedicated to develop an inclusive child education driven by technology, passionate and well-motivated staff and active parent participation.

“We believe every child will learn and flourish with the support of a committed team; touching the psychological, cognitive, spiritual and social development of the child,” she said.

In addition, Ugwuoke noted that their curriculum challenges and help students reason analytically, think creatively and argue critically.

“We offer our pupils the best in early childhood education within a friendly and caring environment,” she said, stressing that focus on character development and effective learning through interaction, differentiated methods and other unique psychological tested and approved method of teaching and learning for the benefit of the learner.

The ReapVille School special assembly attracted pupils’ display of some of their artworks.

Uj. N. Dominic/Editor

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Trauma conference holds in Lagos today - ITREALMS

A non-governmental organization (NGO), Trauma Care International Foundation (TCIF) has concluded plans to host its first-ever trauma conference on Tuesday, November 19, this year with the theme ‘Trauma Care: The Way Forward,’ reports ITREALMS.

Director of TCIF, Dr Deola Philips said, addressing the menace of trauma has become a public health burden in the country, hence the conference.

On the theme ‘Trauma Care: The Way Forward,’ Dr Philips said the objective of the conference is to provide a platform for debate and stimulation of inter-disciplinary discussions in the fields of trauma care and emergency response management.

She also said, the conference will provide a platform for policy makers, senior government officials, the academia, media practitioners, corporate organizations, professional associations, scholars and volunteers from various health and trauma-related disciplines to come together and discuss how their various disciplines can collectively contribute towards the development of workable ways to address trauma as an emerging public health challenge in our society.

A press statement available to 
ITREALMS, she was equally quoted as saying that the conference would be used as a platform for a formal introduction of TCIF to all key stakeholders in Trauma management in Nigeria and a launch of the TCIF Trauma Stakeholders' Forum.

The main focus of discussion at the conference would comprise the National Health Act and its provisions for Emergency Care; Improvements in Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Systems; Delivering Advanced Trauma & Emergency Care in Low-Income Settings; Transforming Health Care in Nigeria through Trauma Network; Building Sustainable Trauma Care Systems in Nigeria and in West Africa; Securing Health Care Financing For Trauma And Emergency Services: National Basic Health Care Provision Fund; and Voluntary Blood Donation as a worthy cause.

The special guest of honour, she said, would be Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Honourable Minister of Health, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Confirmed keynote speaker, she said is Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe, Chairman Senate Committee on Health under the Distinguished Chairmanship of Prince Julius Adewale Adelusi-Adeluyi, Chairman Juli Plc and former Health Minister.

Further, she said, on-site participation is strictly by invitation and advised potential participants to register online.

Chuks Egbuna/Editor

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Monday, November 18, 2019

Mahama, Muhtar, others arrive Lagos for Realnews Lecture - ITREALMS

Former Ghanaian President John Mahama and Dr Mansur Muhtar, Vice President, Country Operations, Islamic Development Bank and former Nigerian finance Minister among others have arrived in Lagos from Accra Ghana and Jedda, Saudi Arabia, for the 7th Anniversary Lecture of Realnews Magazine slated for Tuesday, November 19, at Sheraton Hotels, Lagos. Mahama arrived Lagos on Monday and will deliver the lecture.

“Beyond Politics: An Economic Narrative for West Africa” is the main topic of the Lecture with “The End of Oil: Wither the Nigeria Economy” as the sub-theme.

Maureen Chigbo, publisher of Realnews online Magazine, said: “Our choice of the 2019 topic and sub-theme was informed by the need to escalate and broaden the conversation on the economic challenges facing the region with Nigeria as its economic powerhouse, and Africa in general, with a view to teasing out lasting solutions and against the background of the recently endorsed Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA).

Mahama’s impressive antecedent and vast experience in governance and leadership in policy formation and implementation across disciplines, including agriculture, communications, environment and politics, puts him in a good stead to do justice to the topic, especially at this critical juncture of West Africa’s struggles on the path to regional development and integration.

With Muhtar, Vice President, Country Operations, Islamic Development Bank and former Nigerian finance Minister as Chairman, this year’s annual lecture will bring together policy and decision makers from the private and public sectors, academia and civil society, including the media. Muhtar will also speak on "The End of Oil: Wither the Nigeria Economy".

Like in previous occasions, it will also feature a stimulating Panel Discussion by experts with guaranteed audience participation. The panelists are Mr. Alex Ayoola Okoh, director general, Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, and Mrs. Margaret Olele, chief executive officer of American Business Council.

Born in Damongo in the Damango-Daboya Constituency of Northern region of Ghana, into a political leadership tradition, Mahama is the first President of Ghana to be born after the country’s independence.

A former Minister of State and Member of Parliament, he studied history and communications in Ghana with a major in social psychology in his postgraduate education in Moscow, the former Soviet Union.

Realnews past anniversary lecturers include Professor Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Nigeria INEC, (2018); Dr (Mrs) Oby Ezekwesili, former Minister of Education and Vice President, World Bank (2017), Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the Secretary General and Head, United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (2016); Professor Chukwuma Soludo, former Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, (2015), and Professor Maurice Iwu, former Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, (2014).

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UI Founder’s Day 2019: Oyo Govt to collaborate varsity - ITREALMS

The Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, has maintained that the State Government would continue to collaborate with the University of Ibadan for the development of the state.

The Governor, stated this while speaking at the 71st Founder’s Day and Convocation ceremony, held at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan on Monday.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the Governor also declared the readiness of his government to readily employ data and research produced by the University to develop the State.

He added that State will continue to partner with other stakeholders in advancing University of Ibadan further, noting that the cooperation between the Government and the University was already obvious, as many of the University’s staff were collaborating with the State officially and in private capacities to restore Oyo State’s glory.

The Governor maintained that the Government and People of the State had always been proud to be associated with the University, noting that its existence in Ibadan remained a great testament to the pace-setter status of the State.

“It is indeed a pleasure for me to give a goodwill message at this year’s Foundation Day ceremony of the premier University in Nigeria, the University of Ibadan.

“As the Governor of Oyo State and head of the State Government, I commit the State to partnering with you in advancing University of Ibadan further. The cooperation between our Government and the University is already obvious, as many of your staff are collaborating with us both officially and in private capacities to restore Oyo State to the past glory as the founding fathers had hoped.

“At a stage, this University shot the city of Ibadan to the pinnacle of being the Intellectual capital of the African continent. As the landlord of the University, The Government of Oyo State and its people are indeed proud and happy to be associated with UI,” he said.

Governor Makinde maintained that his administration’s resolve to continue to collaborate with the University stemmed from its belief that an educated population is an asset, noting that in line with that belief, it had begun a process of revolutionizing education through sound and well-thought-out policies.

He also pointed out that the free and qualitative education policy of the Government, which is aimed at building a sound foundation for the future products of the University of Ibadan and other higher institutions, was on course, noting that a university system could only work with the materials they were presented with in terms of students.

He said: “As part of the policy of ensuring a foundational quality for education, our Government has distributed textbooks and exercise books to students. We have also produced a compendium of past questions and answers to assist our Senior Secondary School students.”

The Governor added that the goal of his Government is to see to it that the education budget of the State reached the 15 to 20 per cent recommended target set by UNESCO, noting that the goal had been well-received by the people of the State, who expressed approval and acceptance for the Government’s educational policies during the stakeholders’ meetings on inclusive budget initiative held across the three senatorial districts in preparation for the 2020 budget of the state.

Governor Makinde congratulated those receiving their Ph.D. awards as well as eminent Nigerians being honoured with honorary doctorates, including legal luminary, Aare Afe Babalola; General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor E.A. Adeboye, among others.

He said: “I wish to congratulate all those ladies and gentlemen who have just bagged their doctorate degrees. It is a no mean achievement. This is the reward for your hard work, perseverance and diligence. I do not need to remind you the efforts you had all put in to get the degrees. I, however, take the liberty to admonish you to justify being found worthy in character and learning to earn the degrees in all ramifications and at all times. One good way to do this is by staying back in Nigeria so together we can build a great country. In Oyo State for instance, I assure you that the foundation we are laying will lead to the emergence of a virile economy, which will demand inputs from your various skills.

“I also wish to congratulate all the eminent Nigerians that have received honourary doctorate degrees and Fellowship of the University of Ibadan today. There is no doubt that you have all merited this great honour. May you continue to use your God-given endowments for advancement of mankind.

“To the University of Ibadan community and stakeholders, I join you in appreciating the founding fathers of this University. The little you can do is to sustain the legacy of excellence which the University of Ibadan label is known for.”

Earlier, the pro-chancellor of the University and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, stated that it was important for the University to celebrate the 71st anniversary of the Founder’s Day with joy as much as reflections.

Ayo Midele/Editor

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LIMAA 2019: Oyakhilome doles out $250,000, Nigerian artiste, Sinach tops prize winners - ITREALMS

The President of the Loveworld Incorporated, aka Christ Embassy, Rev. Dr Chris Oyakhilome, has doled out $250,000.00 about N90,375,000.00 on the 2019 Loveworld International Music and Arts Awards (LIMAA), reports ITREALMS.

This is coming as a Nigerian artiste, Sinach went home with $100,000.00 about N36,150,000.00 as the 2019 best song of the year with her track “Overflow.”

RitaSoul cart home the 2019 song writer of the year with a prize of $25,000.00 and Testimony Jaga became the 2019 artiste of the year accompanied with $25,000.

The United Kingdom (UK)-based band went home with two prizes namely the 2019 Song writer of the year in the ‘All stars category’ and 2019 worship song of the year worth $50,000 respectively.

ITREALMS also reports that there were over 10 other awards including the ‘Theme song for the year’ won by Pastor Saki; Music producer of the year won by Frank Fytt; Music video of the year by Samsong with his ‘e dey work’ and Music collaboration of the year, jointly won by CSO & Jeannine.

Others were the ‘Music band of the year’ won by The UK band; Best new act by Password with his ‘Amaghimo’ while Eben emerged the ‘Best male vocalist of the year’, Pastor Ruthney became the Best female vocalist of the year.

Even as the ‘Hitsong of the year’ went to Testimony Jaga with his Gone for life; the all stars’ category ‘Hitsong of the year’ went to Joe Praize with Joy over flows, Song Writer Of The Year (protostars) – Rita Soul, Beat Rendition By An Artist — Onos (Overflow)

Addressing participants earlier at the fourth edition of LIMAA, Pastor Chris as he is popularly called, commended the efforts of gospel musicians in extending the coast for the word of God through their works, promising that though this year’s theme was “Hotter than fire’ that 2020 will definitely be something splendid.

LIMA, he noted, was created to recognise and reward music ministers produced by the church.

The Director Loveworld Music and Arts Ministry, (LMAM), Evangelist Kathy Woghiren, welcomed participants to the full concert meant to recognise and appreciate various arts and music ministers and reward those that have done distinguished themselves in the use of their artistic mastery to propagate the gospel.

Some of the artistes who performed live during the 2019 musical awards comprised UK Rap Nation, SamSong, Tru South and Password, Sparkles, Rita Soul, Chookar, Soul Tune, Dappsy, Hayavaya from Zimbabwe, Razey, PeeJay, Xano, Sinach, Jahdiel, Ur Flames and Testimony Jaga, Loveworld choir, Twin Nation, Pop Nation, The Chosen, The American choir, to name a few.

Remmy Nweke/Editor

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1. Sinach receiving her prize from Pastor Chris
2. CSO and Jeanine
3. JoePraize and wife 

ALTON’s eight-point demands to Pantami - ITREALMS

The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has made an eight-point demand from the Miniser of Communications & Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, if he really wants to reposition the sector for digital economy, reports ITREALMS.

Delivering his speech during a recent working visit to the Minister, chairman of ALTON, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, said the demands have become imperative if the country and the ministry precisely must deliver on its mandates.

First on ALTON demands, ITREALMS exclusively gathered was that the Minister should develop a Digital Economy Strategy in consultation with the National Economic Council and pledged ALTON’s willingliness to partner with the Minister in this regard.

The number two item proposed by ALTON was the efficacy of critical national information infrastructure, urging the Minister to facilitate the issuance of an Executive Order (EO) to designate telecom network infrastructure as Critical National Information Infrastructure in the national interest.

On the frameworks recently developed by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), ALTON demanded that Pantami directs NITDA to withdraw the framework in the overall interest of the industry and consequently direct the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to develop a framework for Public Internet Access which would promote the use of data services in public places.

An instance, ALTON revealed during the visit was the Registration of Data Centre Facilities by NITDA, requesting Minister to direct NITDA to exempt licensed telecommunications operators from the registration requirement for Data Centres.

Also on the ALTON eight-point demands was the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation 2019, which the group beckoned on the Minister to direct NITDA to collaborate with NCC to issue additional guidelines on securing consent for the telecommunications industry.

They pointed out that given the volume of subscribers in the telecommunications industry and the highlighted challenge with procuring consent, “we request for a compliance transition period of 1 year before full enforcement.”

In addition, the group called Pantami’s attention to the refusal of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) to grant build permit foriInfrastructure roll-out in FCT, requesting the Minister to have discussion with the management of FCDA on how to expand the infrastructure build in the FCT for better quality of service.

On the Amended Taxes & Levies Order of 2015, ALTON demanded respectfully from Minister Pantami to engage his counterpart in Finance towards a review of the Amended Taxes and Levies Order 2015, which is not business friendly and negates the Federal Government’s Ease of Doing Business agenda.

While comparing Over-The-Top (OTT) and Mobile Network Operations, ALTON said that the introduction of data price floor to ensure that telcos price data profitably irrespective of activities carried out by data subscribers.

He advised that OTT players to enter into agreement with telcos for revenue-sharing formula or payment of a kind of interconnect fee to telcos.

Chuks Egbuna/Editor

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New Horizons offers scholarships @eBusiness Life Career Fair’19 - ITREALMS

The outcome of the maiden edition of ICT Career Fair by eBusiness Life Communication Limited in Lagos, has seen the award of three scholarships to students by the premier IT training institute, New Horizons Nigeria, reports ITREALMS.

Founder and CEO of New Horizons, Mr. Tim Akano disclosed this in his speech at the event, noting that the best gift the adults can give youths of nowadays is an opportunity to get empowered in technology, as that is the global future.

Akano, who encouraged participants to be inquisitive and develop the knack to search out answers using technology tools, also charged them to seek to create and add value to humanity.

According to him, the teenage age is the most creative age because it is the age where concentration is not divided, but have adequate time to create and think out solutions. “You are living in a technology kingdom. The technology of the future will merge everything in a world of the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence.”

The New Horizons boss, who during the presentation, asked the students varied questions, used the opportunity to award scholarships to students. The beneficiaries of the scholarship are Femi Odunubi, an SS3 Student from Kuramo College, a public school in Lagos; Opeoluwa Ogunfeitimi, SS2 Student from Peaklane International College; and Timehin Atsagbede, SS1 student from The Lagoon School.

The students are allowed to choose a course of training at any of the New Horizons study centes.

Mr. Akano also offered all the participating school that are interested in entering into a partnership with New Horizons, a special arrangement that will ensure that their students are trained to give them an edge above their peers to prepare them for a future that is technology-driven. While pointing out that the new world is a world of a shared economy, he to the students to prepare to compete with other countries like China and Japan that have advanced in technological feats.

According to him: “You are going to live in a multi-cultural world where the only thing that matters is what you can create with your mind.”

Also speaking at the event, the convener and CEO of eBusiness Life Communication Limited, Mrs. Ufuoma Emuophedaro encouraged the students to consider a career in ICT due to the global nature of the profession, creating opportunities in every facet of the economy and in every part of the world.

Pointing out further needs for the young students to expand their knowledge and skill in ICT, Mrs, Emuophedaro explained: “Even beyond careers, it is increasingly critical to encourage young people today to take STEM programmes and develop the kind of business, entrepreneurial and complex problem-solving skills that are required in today’s world. By becoming fluent in Information and Communication Technology, young people will learn to use the essential tools of the 21st century for whatever career they choose as science and technology are pervasive across occupations and critical to Nigeria’s growth, innovation and the knowledge-based economy.”

The Career Fair is one of eBusiness Life’s avenues of sensitizing and educating Nigerian youths on the need for self-development, which will lead to a greater need to contribute their quota in developing the country and impacting the world using ICT as a bargaining chip for global competitiveness. This year’s event was themed, “ICT Career: Laying The Blocks For The Future”.

e-Business Life Communication Limited is the publisher of e-Business Life Magazine, a monthly Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Magazine.

The company also run an online news portal for faster and wider-reaching dissemination of information and product/services advisory medium. It further organizes annual youth-centred events such as the International Girls in ICT Day and the International Girls Day events. In addition, the media organization is poised to encourage and help the Nigerian youths, especially the girl child, to have a better understanding and get interested in modern technologies, so that they could easily deploy these technologies to develop their communities and subsequently the society at large.

New Horizons Computer Learning Centre has grown to become the largest independent IT training company worldwide Since 1982, offering more courses, at more times and in more locations than any other computer and business training organization. Businesses and individuals can choose from hundreds of course offerings, delivered by experts, and offered in hundreds of convenient locations around the world. New Horizons Nigeria is an affiliate of New Horizons USA.

Uj. N. Dominic/Editor

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